Quick Strikes: Former Syracuse Crunch goalie Nick Riopel retires

and some badass hockey-playing sisters.

The Bolts

Pierre-Olivier Joseph talks about his struggle to gain weight over the summers, something his big brother — and top prospect for the Tampa Bay Lightning — Mathieu also shares. This insight might not be direct information, but it’s the next best thing. [NHL dot com]

“We had a running joke that every time we did a video meeting he’d have three or four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in his hand,” Charlottetown coach and general manager Jim Hulton said. “Every time I looked, this kid was eating.”

Alex is the heart and soul of Raw Charge. She’s one our leaders in the locker room, the cavalry when someone needs help or a moral boost, and an incredible friend. She also drops fire when it comes to the Syracuse Crunch on a regular basis. [Raw Charge]

She uses her voice not just to address the team’s play but to assess the organization as a whole. She wants the Crunch to uphold their values and be a positive influence in the community. When she feels they aren’t doing that, she will make that known. And, on the other side, she is always the first to give them credit when they deserve it.

Oh, look! A wild Kristers appears!

Former Syracuse Crunch goaltender Nick Riopel has announced his retirement from playing. Thank you, Nick, for all the workout videos from last summer! They really helped this rookie writer find things to talk about in the dead of July and August! :D

The Game

The Azmi sisters are six young women who are really good at hockey. Playing in the Toronto Women’s Ball Hockey Association, this family is proof of what the sport can be if you open it to everyone. This is a must-read. [New York Times]

“The sisters embraced a new culture in a way that was unique and authentic to them,” said Eva Salem, Canadian Tire’s vice president of marketing. “We really were trying to find real people who sort of embodied the values of inclusivity, sportsmanship and selflessness.”

The sisters’ influence goes beyond the arena. A local school board asked them to speak at a women’s empowerment conference, and they gave a presentation about their experiences playing hockey as observant Muslim women.

This one’s for the youngin’s who don’t quite know how good Jarome Iginla was back in the day. [NHL dot com]

Iginla, who will announce his retirement Monday, reached his scoring peak with the Calgary Flames during the 2001-02 season, when he had 96 points (52 goals, 44 assists) and became the first player other than Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux or Jaromir Jagr to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s scoring leader since 1979-80, when Marcel Dionne and Gretzky tied for the lead but Dionne won the title by scoring two more goals. That season, Iginla won the Ted Lindsay Award and the Maurice Richard Trophy, was named to the First All-Star Team, and was runner-up for the Hart Trophy while scoring or assisting on 47.8 percent of Calgary’s goals.

How many times has the reigning Stanley Cup winning coach not been with the same team to start the next year? Not often. Todd Rierden is now in unchartered space. [NHL dot com]

“I think that the familiarity is going to make this situation much easier,” Reirden said. “Especially familiarity going into a situation where you’ve just won doing it a certain way.”

Reirden is the fourth coach in the past 30 years to take over a team that won the Stanley Cup the previous season, joining Scotty Bowman (1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins), Colin Campbell (1994-95 New York Rangers) and Dave Lewis (2002-03 Detroit Red Wings).